Monthly Archives: September 2018

The Problem With Health and Fitness

The unfortunate fact is the health and fitness industry is becoming increasingly more and more about marketing and sales and less about providing quality information, products, and services. Of course, selling has always played a prominent role in health and fitness, but these days, making the sale is more important than ever. It is now common for companies and individual sellers to spend most of their time and energy developing better sales pitches and marketing tactics, as opposed to developing better products and services. In other words, health and fitness is becoming less about helping you succeed in reaching your goals and more about finding ways to manipulate you into buying a particular product or service, regardless if it will benefit you or not.

I know there are a lot of wonderful and qualified people in the health and fitness industry that do put their clients and customers needs first and provide great information, products, and services. However, the problem is most of the information and messages people are exposed to these days does not come directly from quality sources. Instead, the vast majority of the information people see and hear is from businesses or individuals trying to convey a specific message in order to make a sale. As a result, the information is typically biased and designed to manipulate your emotions and/or reinforce a company or organization’s specific point of view. To make matters worse, these messages are often disguised to appear unbiased and informational, even when they are really just targeted advertisements.

All this biased and often misleading or even blatantly untruthful health and fitness information is a source of great concern, because people are exposed to so many half-truths and conflicting messages, that the end result is often just increased confusion and frustration. To add to this confusion, even when the information is truthful, exercise and nutrition information is often presented in an over generalized way, suggesting things like there is 1 best way to exercise or 1 best way to eat and that way should be followed by everyone. A lot of health and fitness information only applies to certain people or specific situations and there is no single approach that works best for everyone, regardless of what marketers want you to believe. Every person is different and exercise or nutrition information that is useful for one person may not work for another person.

It is a shame that so much information is biased, manipulative, or inappropriately used, because a significant portion of the health and fitness industry is constantly learning more about exercise, nutrition, and other things related to how the body works and using that information to help others. Researchers are constantly performing experiments and publishing books and articles that provide honest and straightforward information about things like how to train for specific goals, how to recover after exercise or injury, and how specific foods and nutrients affect your health. Other people, including the higher quality coaches, trainers, and nutritionists take this information along with practical experience and pass their knowledge along to others. All of these people are working to provide valuable information and move the health and fitness industry in a positive direction.

The big problem is that it can be very difficult to separate the honest people providing quality information from the people creating and publicizing misleading or untruthful information. One issue is that people who provide educational information and people who are trying to sell products both use science to support what they say. People in health and fitness often use scientific data or refer to scientific studies to make others believe their claims are factual. Unfortunately, it is easy to manipulate data from a scientific study and use it to provide evidence to support things that were never actually supported by the original study. Also, to make matters worse, people who use scientific studies to reinforce their health and fitness beliefs or promote their products, often do not really even understand the scientific research or the methodology behind it.

For instance, years ago I was invited to attend a seminar by a so-called health and fitness expert. He never presented at any of the professional conferences I attended and I had never even heard of him, but apparently people pay him to fly all over the country to give his presentation. Anyway, he made references to research studies throughout his presentation to give credibility to what he was saying, but it was obvious that he had no real understanding of the studies or even how research is conducted. He tried using data to support things that had nothing to do with the study and also tried to create cause and effect relationships that were not even remotely supported by the data. Basically he made a complete mockery of the research, but since he was perceived to be an expert and the audience was mainly people without prior health and fitness knowledge, they had no reason to question what he said.

This is just one of many examples of unqualified people dispensing information from studies, but that presentation really stuck with me over the years. At that time, it was still early in my career and I could not believe that someone who had such a poor understanding of what he was presenting could be considered a health and fitness expert. Added to his poor understanding of scientific research, he also made factually incorrect statements about how different types of exercise affect the body. I still do not know if he simply did not have his facts straight or if he intentionally made untruthful statements, because he was promoting his specific exercise program and was doing everything he could to convince the audience that his program was better than other exercise programs. In any case it was obvious that he was providing inaccurate information, but he was still a successful presenter who was considered an expert in the field (at least by some people), just because he was a charismatic speaker and some of what he said could inspire people to improve their exercise and nutrition habits. It’s just a shame that his presentations did not actually contain good information.

I know I may have gone a little off track, but I think this is a great example of what is wrong with health and fitness today. Simply put, there is way too much emphasis on style (marketing and presentation) and not enough substance (quality information). There is even a growing sentiment among some members of the industry that people do not want to learn about health and fitness and they only want to be told what to do. I am sure this is true for some people, but it has been my experience that people are eager to learn about health and fitness, as long as the information makes sense and is relevant to their life.

As stated previously, even if you are looking to learn about health and fitness it can be difficult with all the less than helpful information available today. Fortunately, you do not need to have a thorough understand of research methodology or a degree in exercise physiology to determine if information is good or useful. However, there are some things that will help you distinguish the good sources of health and fitness information from the ones that are essentially glorified marketing campaigns.

First, you should not assume that just because someone is considered an expert, he/she will be a good source of information. Some experts and people who want to sound like experts will quote scientific studies or use technical or advanced terminology to just to sound more impressive or make you believe they know what they are talking about. Even if their information is 100% accurate, if you cannot clearly understand it, then it is not really useful to you. Just as with workout routines or nutritional programs, information that is beneficial to one person may be confusing or useless to someone else. The most important thing to ask yourself when learning about health and fitness is whether the information truly makes sense to you and is relevant to your particular goals, needs, and lifestyle.

Another thing to consider is that many publications, presentations, and advertisements are designed to appeal to your emotional desires and manipulate how you feel about a topic, product, or service, instead of actually educating you. In these situations, things that sound really good when you first see or hear them often provide little substance when you go back and take a closer look at them. Good health and fitness information should be educational and make sense whether you are seeing it for the first time or the fifth.

The health and fitness industry is always going to produce some amount of manipulative, misleading, or untruthful information and it can come from anyone, regardless of their level of knowledge or status within the industry. In the end it is really up to you to determine what kind of information you want and expect from members of the health and fitness community. My hope is that people will become fed up with all the great sounding marketing claims and slick presentations and start demanding more quality educational information. Then the health and fitness industry can really move in a more positive direction and be in a position to truly help people live healthier and happier lives.

Exercise, Health and Fitness

There are days and there are days! Sure we all feel that way sometimes and experience days when we barely have time to breathe it seems leave alone exercise! On the other hand maybe you just plain hate exercising like I do. What we need to be aware of is that exercise, health and fitness are all connected and a simple 10 minute daily workout combined with right eating is a surefire way of ensuring overall fitness.

There are a few really basic exercises that you can do on a daily basis, which are listed below. Just think of the exercise routine as something that has to be done each day like brushing your teeth or having a shower and get it over with, it will soon become habit forming.

o Hip thrust: give your hams, calves, glutes and lower back a workout. Lie flat on your back with knees bent, feet and head on the floor. Thrust out your hips in the direction of the ceiling until you are in line with your shoulders, hips and knees; then go back to start position. 25-50 reps are good to start with and you can slowly build up to 100.

o Squat press: give your gluts, quads and upper body a workout. Depending on your fitness level hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands at shoulder position. Squat keeping hips back and weight on heels; now drive upward with the power from your legs pressing the dumbbells straight up. Lower your arms.

o Push ups: give your shoulders, chest and triceps a workout. Place feet and palms on floor in a downward facing spread out pose; drop into the push up position, roll into the upward facing pose and then reverse. Return to start and repeat.

Doing these exercises should not take more than 10 minutes and will limber you up for the day.

Exercise, health and fitness are a sort of joint venture; now that you have some quick tune up exercises to do we can take a look at health and fitness to complete the triangle. Good health and fitness comes from the right kind of diet and lifestyle. If you drink too much alcohol and smoke like a chimney no amount of right eating is going to keep you in good health.

Did you know that an excellent method of ensuring good health is to keep a pet? Pets have been found to be natural mood enhancers; lower blood pressure; reduce stress and tension; lower risk of heart attack and fight depression among other benefits.

Another way to improve and maintain good health is through aerobic exercise. Research has linked aerobic exercise to various health and fitness benefits such as cancer prevention, osteoporosis, diabetes, depression, obesity and weight loss. Swimming, riding, water aerobics, walking, hiking, dancing and similar activities are all examples of aerobic exercise; you can choose anything that you enjoy doing or is easiest for you to do. The main thing is to take up some form of exercise to enjoy the benefits of good health and fitness.

How to Maintain Good Health and to Keep

Some people think that crash diets are going to allow them to lose weight and keep the weight off. What they do not know is that when the body is in starvation mode it can use up muscle rather than body fat. Once they start eating again, their bodies are going to store more fat, rather than muscle gain. So, all the weight goes back on again.

Many people are surprised that there are so many health and fitness programs offered on the Internet. But are they really useful? You should not go on a crash diet just because some celebrity endorsed it. You should definitely not go on a diet which does not include foods from all the essential food groups. This advice is essential for all those who want to lose weight and stay healthy at the same time.

The most beneficial health and fitness tips are the ones which are extremely common. Yet they are not used by everybody. You should start to exercise. You have to stop using excuses in order not to work out. You would also want to look at ways in which you can lose weight and keep fit easily and properly.

You should eat 5 meals a day. Any sort of starvation is going to have a detrimental effect on your physiological and physical health. You have to drink lots of water because it removes the toxins from your body. In this way you will also make sure that you are not dehydrated. Drinking around eight glasses of water throughout the day is definitely a good way to stay healthy.

You should start eating healthy deserts such as low fat yogurt instead of ice cream. You can also eat brown rice instead of having white rice. Adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet is definitely a great idea. Remember to have one day a week for eating only fruit and vegetables. You can also have fresh juices and in this way you will detoxify your body.

The good health and fitness programs include at least 30 minutes of exercise every single day. You can choose to walk, swim or ride your bicycle. These activities are going to boost your metabolic rate. In turn you will get rid of all that extra fat.